Young community activists nationwide are organizing efforts to solve two of the nation’s pressing problems at once: reducing the unemployment rate of poor, inner-city youth by creating job opportunities through green initiatives like solar panel installation.
Julian Mocine-McQueen, a field organizer for Green For All, a national advocacy organization that supports both energy conservation and job-creation projects, originally hoped to build a career around reducing homicide rates in low-income minority communities, but he eventually found his calling in environmental work. “Green jobs allowed me to address the root causes of violence – no jobs, no money,” Mocine-McQueen told The Nation.
Chester Thrower III, also with Green For All, plans to start his own solar panel installation business in Pittsburgh. Thrower told The Nation that when he talks to young people in Pittsburgh’s Manchester neighborhood about green jobs, “it goes in one ear and out the other” right now, but he’s still confident that if he lobbies for government aid he can reach his goal and get people off the streets and trained to work at jobs in solar energy.
Green For All receives support for its cause from the Energy Action Coalition (EAC) and its thousands of members at college campuses nationwide.
Someone is already listening. EAC’s e-mail list has grown from 10,000 to 500,000 since 2007. Feb. 16, http://www.thenation.com.